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The Platte County Landmark

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Between the Lines
by Ivan Foley

Off the Couch
by Greg Hall

Off the Wall
by CK Rairden

Parallax Look
by Brian Kubicki



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editor exposed on

gun law, Limbaugh

His comments prove he should stick to parks meetings

(Posted 10-16-03)


As Told to CK Rairden

Last year, we all learned that the editor of the Citizen Shopper didn’t believe in the First Amendment to the US Constitution. He told us all that free speech was a privilege, not a right. This year—we learned what he thought of the second amendment.

•“For the record, I don’t think anyone other than law enforcement officers or military personnel should be allowed to legally carry firearms. Period.”
Lee Stubbs in an October 2003 editorial.

As the self-proclaimed media critic I knew I would have comment, but held on as the issue was very well covered in CK Rairden’s “Off The Wall” column two weeks ago.
But after the Citizen Shopper wrote a misleading piece in this week’s self-proclaimed community shopper, I knew I would have to address the issue.

I told my story to CK Rairden who passed it along to Ivan Foley—a protector of the First Amendment—and for those who are tired of the same lies retold week after week to make a false case—I will lay out my TRUTH WATCH directly from one fabricated column that ran this week.


FABRICATION: “I’m talking, of course, about the recently legislated concealed/carry firearms law, which was ramrodded into existence last month by Republican lawmakers.”
Stubbs, Citizen Shopper editorial.
TRUTHWATCH: Sigh—no matter how many times you tell this lie—it will not make it true. This law was put in place by a bi-partisan (for the CS editor—that means both Democrats and Republicans) super-majority that overrode Governor Bob Holden’s veto. I suggest the CS editor mix in a civics class in between skateboard parks meetings —or stick to his original plan and stop trying to interpret politics.

FABRICATION: "I’m not an expert on the law, but I think I understand what the following says:
'Missouri Constitution Article I, Bill of Rights, Section 23. Right to bear arms-exception. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.'”
Stubbs, CS editorial.
TRUTHWATCH: It’s doubtful you understand it at all. The fact that the last part of the statement says “this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons” does not mean a legally elected Legislature cannot pass a law that does allow a concealed carry permit. If you don’t know—ask a non-partisan judge to help you out.


FABRICATION: [Rush Limbaugh] is the biggest namecaller (sic) in the country — a man who makes his living publicly ridiculing and slandering those whom he disagrees with — on the other side of the fence.
Stubbs, CS editorial.
TRUTHWATCH: As a media watchdog I would know if Limbaugh had ever been sued for slander. He hasn’t. That’s another complicated legal term the CS editor may want some consultation on.

FABRICATION: Now, Limbaugh will know what it feels like to be the butt of jokes on late night talk shows. He will know what it feels like to be stereotyped and unfairly characterized.
Stubbs, CS editorial.
TRUTHWATCH: Limbaugh had a book written about him called Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot. He knows what it’s like to be stereotyped. I can’t blame the CS editor for expressing glee in the troubles of Limbaugh. He has never achieved success at commentary and is ridiculed regularly when he attempts to comment on the important issues.

But I can assure the misguided scribe that Limbaugh will return to the airwaves, stronger than ever and will continue to do what I have done here—point out the hypocrisy and shortcomings of liberal anti-First Amendment gun grabbers.


(The Fly is the media watchdog for Platte County and thanks Ivan Foley for allowing him to pass along his findings in an open forum that truly believes in free speech. Reach the Fly at


Citizen Shopper

editor makes excuses

for getting scooped

Landmark first with story from Stubbs' playhouse

(Posted 5-30-03)


As told to CK Rairden

Anytime a journalist goes to a great deal of trouble to explain an inconsequential event, you can be assured something is wrong.

In the Citizen Shopper published two days ago, its editor went to a great deal of trouble to try to explain why it had been beaten by a week on the resignation of the general manger of Platte County’s money pit of a golf course, Shiloh Springs.

According to the editor, his wife gave him a scoop “a few” weeks ago that GM Mike Marshall was gone. According to the Shopper column Marshall resigned on May 15th.

For the mathematically challenged like our esteemed junk mailer, that would be two weeks ago, not “a few”.

But if you look at the shopper's circulation junk mail math then you’ll understand that “a few,” one week, or two weeks is all the same thing.


Next—to make an attempt to avoid embarrassment of being beaten to the story by The Landmark by a full week, the Shopper's math wiz said he had the story last week but refused to run it without quotes from the hasty resignation of the money pit’s GM.

It would be very odd if this were indeed true, as this editorial writer often brags about his time on the course. He says he reached Marshall on Friday, May 23. That’s odd as it would be likely with all the time the editor spends on the course and promoting the idea that taxpayers should continue to pour money down this dark hole that he would know the GM well enough to get a phone call through to him immediately.

Once he reached the departed GM a days after the fact, his column quoted Marshall’s rambling commentary on his resignation.


Landmark editor Ivan Foley ran the story in both the print edition and online last week. Marshall did not return phone calls from The Landmark, but that would be “par for the course” as he wouldn’t expect the softball questions he would receive from the Shopper.

It can be accessed online at

The Citizen Shopper commentary that is referred in this column is not available online. The embarrassment felt by editor Citizen Shopper Lee Stubbs is understandable.

Shiloh Springs has been a newsworthy, controversial topic for sometime and it’s an admitted hangout of his entire family. According to his own words, his wife gave him a great news tip but he ignored her and failed to follow up.

That’s poor journalistic 'work,' as it would have taken but one phone call.


As the official Platte County media critic, it was impossible to allow this to particular effort or lack thereof without commentary. After the fiasco at the New York Times, with fabrication of quotes, made up stories and sources, Stubbs should have known better than to begin a column with excuse-laden drivel.

Journalists are headed toward being trusted as much as politicians and lawyers thanks to laziness, sloppiness and excuses such as those served up with this particular piece.

Even the best reporters and news organizations get “scooped” every now and then.

The good ones understand that and once it happens attempt to find the story behind the story. Stubbs elected to end his column with the sophomoric and unoriginal “there you have it.”

But all I gained from reading this piece was a week-old story chalked full of flimsy excuses. It was not only a poor reflection on his work, but also a poor reflection on all of journalism.

And at this point in time, journalists and all other news organizations don’t need this type of reporting.

(The Fly is the self-appointed “official” media critic of Platte County. Reach the columnist with tips or comments at


Not all tips turn

out to be worthy

of a news story

With no facts, shopper just wanted to take a cheap shot

(Posted 1-31-03)


When you believe in free speech and run a news outlet that reaches tens of thousands of people each week you get your share of tips and suggestions on story ideas and commentary ideas.

At The Landmark, we not only appreciate the suggestions, but also encourage them. Not all ideas and tips can be run as stories, but the conversations sure are interesting.

The tip line rings—


The Landmark: “News desk—The Landmark.”

Caller: “Have I got a story for you. It’s a court case.”

The Landmark: “Go ahead—we love court cases. What do you have?”

Caller: “First of all—you can’t use my name as your source.”

The Landmark: “If you’ve got something of substance, we can work around that.”

Caller: “Well I know of a case where a guy was just acquitted in a sex case.”

The Landmark: “Interesting—what’s the story?”

Caller: “Well he is a step-father that was accused of sodomizing his step-daughter.”

The Landmark: “Okay—what’s the man’s name?”

Caller: “Uh—I can’t tell you. But wait it gets better.”

The Landmark: “Please continue, what‘s the defendant's name?”

Caller: “Uh—I can’t tell you. But wait it gets better.”

The Landmark: “Oh—okay. Please continue, which judge's court was this in?”

Caller: “Uh—I can’t tell you. But wait it gets better.”


The Landmark: “Okay—what about the defendant, who represented him?”

Caller: “Uh—I can’t tell you. But wait it gets better.”

The Landmark: “We’ve already had a very vague call on something similar to this earlier in the week. Can you give any details?”

Caller: “Sure—the defendant walked, and the defense didn’t call any witnesses. And get this, the prosecuting attorney is Eric Zahnd.”

The Landmark: “Yes we are all well aware of that. Zahnd was elected in November. What does that have to do with the story?”

Caller: “It’s his case—and he lost it, without the defense calling any witnesses—isn’t that newsworthy?”

The Landmark: “Not if he inherited a very weak case from the previous prosecutor. He took office less than a month ago, he had to have inherited this case—correct?”

Caller: “Gee I don’t know. But he lost—isn’t that ironic?”

The Landmark: “Ironic? Not really—was the accused innocent? Perhaps the jury came back with the correct verdict. Perhaps the girl made the whole thing up. Do you have a transcript of what was said in the courtroom? Did you sit through this trial? We need a few facts here. This sounds like a lot of speculation with nothing to back it up. Do you have any facts?”

Caller: “Uh—no. I just thought it was ironic. I have to let you go now—I have another call to make”

The Landmark: “OK, thanks for the call.”


Two Landmark writers discuss the call.

“Listen to this call I got—I’ve got a tip on a guy who walked on an alleged sex charge. My tipster gave me nothing. He wants to remain an unnamed source. We’ve got an unnamed defendant, an unnamed alleged victim. In an unnamed court. He gives me an unnamed defense lawyer and an unnamed jury.”

“So—he gave you nothing.”

“Exactly—my guess is he’s calling every news outlet in the area—he seems like he only wanted to take a shot at Eric Zahnd.

“No story?”

“Absolutely no story.”

“Think anyone will bite on such a non-story?”

“Only a propaganda spreading, unprofessional rag would bite on something as weak as this.”

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at


Shopper editor's

damage control effort

is embarrassing

His rambling comments full of contradictions

(Posted 1-23-03)

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

It’s getting embarrassing.

This week's knee-jerk reaction by the citizen shopper editor to the Junk Mail Math column of Jan. 15th by Ivan Foley expected. Also expected? The glaring contradictions contained in the feeble rebuttal attempt.

I can understand the feeling of urgency from the citizen shopper editor, as losing more than 10% of his readers over the past few years must take a toll both financially and emotionally. No one likes to lose.

And it was definitely time for some spin control from the citizen shopper, as the numbers show it is continuing to lose the interest of the people who want timely news and opinion on a variety of issues.

But perhaps next time the citizen shopper should outsource its response to someone other than the self-described “emotional wreck” of an editor. In a whining, rambling and desperate attempt at spinning failures in a positive manner, the shopper editor put forth some glaring contradictions.

Let’s review.


Contradiction #1—

“The trouble is a total number of web site hits or page view readers can’t be verified.

“In fact (the citizen shopper) has received as many as 3,000 hits on (the citizen shopper) site.”

Rock-Solid analysis:
If viewers to a web site can’t be verified, how would one know how many visitors viewed their own site? One may convince a few of the dwindling shopper readers that a computer can’t count, (actually they count quite well) but to say your homemade web page can count hits, and The Landmark’s professional interactive web site can’t count page views, can only fool a small percentage of folks.

I’m not certain how the homemade web pages do their counts, but our site’s meter is accurate, accessible and verifiable.

Contradiction #2—

“Also a clever trick used by some folks to inflate page views is to send out e-mails to a mailing list. When the e-mail is clicked on— “shazam”— the viewer is immediately transponded to the e-mail’s originating web site. Guess what? That’s also counted as a hit.”

Rock-Solid analysis:

What is described in the above quote is junk mail. While it pains me to debate junk mail with the junk mail king of Platte County, that’s not how it works in cyberspace. The citizen shopper editor must have this confused with stuffing a junk mail shopper in a PO box that people then toss in the trash, then counting those landfill flyers as paid subscribers.

First—The Landmark doesn’t send out junk mail. It’s not professional and it’s not a trick we wish to employ to inflate circulation numbers. And though junk mail is sent in Platte County by some folks putting out shoppers to inflate numbers, it’s definitely not clever.

Second—The citizen shopper editor shows a lack of cyber knowledge here. To visit a web site you would have to click on a link, you can’t get to a web site by opening your e-mail.

Third—When was the last time you heard the word 'Shazam?' Did Gomer Pyle write this piece for the shopper??


Contradiction #3—

“(The citizen shopper) will continue to sell nearly 50% more newspapers than our competition and we’re going to do it in a professional manner.”

Rock-Solid analysis:
I will say that if the citizen shopper has found a way to force P.O. Box renters to pay for your shopper then I am impressed. As I know this to be a blatant falsehood, I would deem this above statement to be fictitious and quite unprofessional.


The true gauge of any news organization is accuracy, interest, entertainment and growth. The Landmark continues to break accurate news stories and write spirited editorials that create the buzz that people wish to discuss.

And as always, we count on our readers to let us know how interesting and entertaining our pieces are, both in print and on the web. We welcome our readers' opinions, both positive and negative, both signed and anonymous.

And what does all that lead to? Thirty-seven-percentage growth in paid print circulation, (and still growing) and an astronomical growth on The Landmark’s interactive Web site.

The plan continues. An accurate, entertaining, and expanding communications product, and zero unsolicited junk mail.

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at


How the shopper

editor gets info

from Landmark forum

(Posted 1-06-03)

As told to CK Rairden:

I am The Fly. As the ‘unofficial’ Platte County media critic, there has been little for me to do lately.

The citizen shopper, licking its wounds from yet another defeat on the area of news coverage and an even worse record of its editor’s opinion, gave up even trying for a while.

At one point, the editor decided to let all of his readers know that events that shape their lives each day outside of high school football aren’t worth covering and declared his citizen shopper to be a high school sports newspaper.

At least that’s how I read it.


But then on the eve of Christmas of last year, December 24th, 2002, someone finally had enough of the citizens of Platte County expressing their opinions. They entered The Landmark community forum illegally and began deleting thoughts from folks who have no other way to get their voices heard.

CK Rairden rightfully called them the enemies of free speech.

The Fly was awakened that night by a loud noise and it wasn’t Santa Claus landing on the roof. It was the phone informing me of the situation. I had been on the forum reading opinions earlier that morning and the last two posts that I saw were lampooning the editor of the ‘citizen shopper’ for first picking up the phone and calling a person who posted on the site, then asking to run a letter to the editor that this particular poster had mailed to The Landmark.

Here is the story.


This particular person was Vicki McClurg and she had written how her brother had died in an accident and was upset with the punishment handed down by the Platte County courts. Her opinion and theory was that her brother may have been jogging on the track when run over by an ATV driven by a person named Shane Bakalar. The brother who perished in the accident was Devin Peck.

This is where the editor of the ‘citizen shopper’ once again exposed himself as an amateur, and exposed his publication as nothing more than a vehicle for propaganda. He ran the letter but in his attempt to discredit the ‘letter to the editor’ author and defend the judge who handed down the decision, it was time for one of his now infamous 176-word ‘editor’s notes.'

It backfired on him, as he did nothing but discredit himself and make Judge Gary Dean Witt look bad with his rambling note. He stated Vicki McClurg’s opinion that her brother was run over as fact—straight off The Landmark community forum.

He failed to verify Vicki's remark and had to run a correction in his column the very next week.

This is where the story gets good.


There is a reason the citizen junk mail shopper is commonly referred to as “The Propaganda Machine.”

The editor, Lee Stubbs, commonly runs stories favorable to his perceived friends. Not opinion pieces, not editorials, but editorials disguised as news stories.

He ran a particular story disguised as a news story in July. It had no byline (no author’s name was given) only noted that it was a ‘citizen (shopper) staff report.’ It was as if this piece was written anonymously, a free speech practice that Stubbs is on record as despising.

The story was about the case described above. This is a direct quote from the July story that appeared in the propaganda machine: “(Devin) Peck was killed when the ATV the two men were riding on overturned.”

Oops, that is a far cry from Stubbs' "editor's note" he wrote a few months later in which he said that Peck was jogging on the track.


Instead of using his own publication's story as research, when the hot story of a judge allegedly weak on drunk drivers was hitting real newspapers, The Landmark's talkback forum was the source the citizen shopper turned to for facts on the case.

Now to cut the citizen shopper editor some slack, I would never use his publication for research either. But in this case, the person who wrote the shopper's biased story actually checked the facts. According to the sheriff’s office, both men were on the ATV when the accident occurred.

Now it comes full circle. The Landmark continues to gain readers while the citizen shopper continues to lose them. In fact it now seems this particular editor has given up on reading his own publication and reads The Landmark’s online forum more than his own shopper.

The numbers show he’s not the only one.

(The Fly, local media critic, can be reached via email at


Two appointed

Dems facing

challenges Tuesday


(Posted 11-04-02)

Two women in Missouri owe their jobs right now to the last two Democrat governors and they are both on the Platte County ballot on Nov. 5.

One is trailing in the polls and the other is nearing the end of her one-year appointment with no available public polling data. Neither have a very good record to run on so they have resorted to asking for votes to keep their opponents out of the respective elected offices.


Interim Gov. Roger Wilson appointed Jean Carnahan to the U.S. Senate after Missouri voters elected her dead husband in November of 2000.

She is now trailing in the polls and her campaign is on the ropes. She is now using the stump speech, ‘please elect me or President Bush will get a rubber stamp for his programs.’

The Kansas City Star, in its “strong endorsement of Jean Carnahan” agreed, citing this as one of the reasons to return the appointed widow to Washington.

“In addition, recent Democratic control of the Senate has served as a valuable check on the GOP-dominated House and the administration, which has shown far less interest in compromise and bipartisan cooperation than George Bush promised in his campaign. Electing Carnahan could help preserve some balance in Washington.”

Nationally, Democrats are struggling. They haven’t grasped any issue to promote as a reason to vote for them, so now they and their liberal editorial page supporters use reasons to vote against their opponent.

Carnahan is in trouble and is likely out of the US Senate. But don’t expect it to be without a fight, even after the election result is in. Expect legal challenges after all of the votes are in, even the late votes from the midnight voting in St. Louis.


Tammy L. Glick was appointed interim prosecutor for Platte County Oct. 4, 2001 by Gov. Bob Holden. At times, Glick mirrored Carnahan’s lack of a grasp of the job to which she was appointed.

She recently told one of her most staunch supporters who runs a citizen shopper junk mail publication, “It’s frightening to think this office would be turned over to someone who has never tried a criminal case.”

Another Democrat, another ‘don’t vote or my opponent’ stump speech.

It was clear during the campaign that Glick didn’t have the temperament to run a growing prosecutor’s office when she claimed in an August campaign solicitation for donations to her campaign that her opponent, “Like all extreme conservatives, he believes women to be inferior. Therefore I am not qualified to serve because I am a woman.”

That was the beginning of the end to the Glick election campaign. My assessment of her awful attitude and display of partisanship of an office that cannot afford to be partisan still stands.

It begs some serious questions on her ability to be fair with her bias now glaring and public:

—Will the prosecutor’s office under Glick treat anyone deemed an ‘extreme conservative’ differently?

—Will the prosecutor’s office under Glick treat anyone deemed an ‘extreme liberal’ with sympathy?

—Will the prosecutor’s office treat men and women differently?

Glick’s objectivity was called into question with that solicitation. Someone displaying that much partisanship isn't normally handed the kind of power that a prosecutor's office has.

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at


Minnesota situation

similar to what

took place in Missouri

(Posted 10-31-02)

Paul Wellstone was a liberal Democrat from the state of Minnesota who was running for his third term in the US Senate when he perished in a plane crash last weekend.

And Wellstone was real. He was unapologetic and hardcore left, and didn’t care who knew it or if they liked it. He was one of the few liberals that I enjoyed as politicians, as he would actually stick to his liberal principles when challenged.

His untimely death brought back memories of Mel Carnahan’s demise in the same type of situation two years ago. At that time, Missouri Senator John Ashcroft ceased all campaigning, and Missouri elected a dead Democrat to the US Senate. Acting Missouri Gov. Roger Wilson then appointed the widow, Jean Carnahan, to the open seat.

At that time Missouri was the butt of many political jokes, but they’ve got nothing on Minnesota Dems.


Tuesday night, Democrats from around the country dropped by to pay their respects to Paul Wellstone. Supposedly. Instead they danced on his grave and turned a chance to mourn and reflect on a good man into a campaign rally.

It was a pathetic and sleazy display.

Minnesota’s elected Independent governor, Jesse Ventura, was so disgusted that he walked out.

“I feel used, I feel violated and duped over the fact that turned into nothing more than a political rally. It drove the First Lady to tears. The Democrats should hang their heads in shame.”

But they didn’t.

They laughed it up, cheered wildly and used the death of Wellstone as an excuse to rally the troops. They used Wellstone’s body as a prop and pleaded for folks to vote for the Democrats because of the plane crash.

Sound familiar?


The Democrats then dusted off ex-Vice President Walter Mondale and propped him up to make another attempt at the same kind of recognizable name brand sympathy that Missouri Dems are doing with the appointed one, Senator Jean Carnahan.

So now the ex-VP, who along with Jimmy Carter brought America double-digit inflation, gas shortages and gas lines and the Iran hostage debacle, wants Minnesota to pull a Carnahan and vote for him out of sympathy.

Rick Kahn, a Wellstone family friend told the “memorial service”/campaign rally that both local and national Republicans owed it to Wellstone to abandon their support for his GOP opponent, Norm Coleman, as a tribute to the dead senator’s memory. In other words, vote Democrat because of the tragedy. A plane crash, a vote of sympathy, and an exploitation of a supposed friend’s death.

To Missourians that rings even more familiar.


It is sad to see the Democratic Party fall this far this fast. In 1992 they had the Presidency, the US Senate, and the US House of Representatives under their control.

They are now just trying to desperately hang on to their razor slim majority in the US Senate, while hoping for a miracle to regain control of the US House of Representatives.

With apparently no principles left and void of any ideas to make America better for voters and citizens, the dems are reduced to dusting off an ancient failure of a politician in Minnesota and a politician’s widow in Missouri and asking for a vote of sympathy to save their majority in the US Senate.

It’s a sad and pathetic strategy. It will be even more difficult to take Missouri and Minnesota voters serious if this strategy works.

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at


Blowing smoke

about Prop. A

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

(Posted 10-30-02)

Proposition A proponents are ready to blow some of their own smoke.

What is proposition A?
Proposition A is a tax increase that would more than triple the 17-cent tobacco excise tax to 72 cents per pack of cigarettes. The tax on other tobacco products would go up 20 percent.

How much money would be raised?

Proposition A would generate about $342 million in tax revenue.

Where does all of that cash go?

Proponents say that 43 percent of the money would go for prescription drugs for seniors and initiatives for the poor, women, minorities and children. While 29 percent would go for hospital trauma care, 14 percent for life sciences research, 7 percent for smoking prevention and 7 percent for early childhood programs.

What does all that mean?

It means that the proponents of this targeted tax cut are willing to pull at any heartstrings to grab the cash. Initiatives for poor, women, minorities and children? Gee they might as well have thrown puppies in there as well.

Any more outrageous claims?

This one is great. Proponents claim that a vote for Proposition A is a vote for preparedness against biological or chemical warfare attacks or for mass casualties that could come as a result of terrorism. So if you vote for Proposition A, you are doing your part against terrorism. That is some pretty skewed logic, but it shows the lengths proponents will go to pass this initiative.

Is this a good deal for Missouri?

No. It’s nothing more than a cash grab by Jefferson City. It’s a tax that is targeted at a quarter of the of folks in Missouri who smoke, to fund a bunch of feel-good programs. And who came up with these percentages? 43% to the poor, and women minorities and seniors, while only 7% goes to smoking prevention?

So, Yes or No?

This proposition is a mess and is as legitimate as the lottery and the casinos improving schools and the gas tax improving highways. How have those two gone thus far?
Until the politicians in Jefferson City prove they can manage the incredible amount of taxes they collect each year responsibly, they should get a resounding NO on any new tax proposal.

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at


Helping the shopper define the word 'anonymous'

(Posted 10-25-02)

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

As a giver, I have tried repeatedly to educate the editor of the citizen shopper on the value of The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps I will now need to educate him on the definition of the word anonymous.

Two weeks ago, I read with amazement his ‘policy’ that the citizen shopper opinion section was not an open forum. The citizen shopper editor went on to make it known that he would not allow people to hide behind the cloak of anonymity to attack or slander others. He then mentioned a “few letters that had pushed the envelope.”

As it turns out it was one specific letter the citizen shopper editor was referring to. And it was not anonymous at all. It was a letter penned by Jim Paden of Dearborn who had a few questions and allegations against county commissioner Betty Knight.


The citizen shopper editor then went on record in this week’s edition stating that he ‘did not have sufficient time to check out the allegations’ in this letter penned by Jim “Anonymous” Paden.

The Landmark received the letter at the same time the citizen shopper received it.
Benefitting from a new device called a telephone, Landmark editor Ivan Foley was able to communicate with Betty Knight and got her response when The Landmark received the letter.

Knight was precise in her explanation and cleared up what she believed to be errors in Mr. Paden’s piece. So instead of allowing the rumors an innuendo to fester for a week, The Landmark ran the letter October 17th with Betty Knight’s clear explanation attached.

Knight was being accused of improprieties and deserved a forum for her response and The Landmark was happy to provide it.

The citizen shopper left both Knight and Paden hanging by not running the letter and the response to the letter. Without the quick work of The Landmark, a full week would have gone by with this accusation against Knight making its way around the county.


I could now accuse the citizen shopper editor of being afraid of offending either candidate in the commissioner’s race and refusing to run the letter last week.

I could now say that he wishes to do business with the commission at a future date and instead of making a clearly simple editorial decision, wimped out and attacked his readers along with any news organization that would run the letter and the Knight explanation.

I could also accuse the citizen shopper editor of not running the letter from Mr. Paden so the rumors and accusations would spread around the county and hurt Knight politically.

But I won’t.


I will simply point out that the citizen shopper finally ran the letter one week after it ran in The Landmark. And I can point out that the citizen shopper also ran Betty Knight’s rebuttal one week after it ran in The Landmark. Nearly verbatim.

And I will simply point out that the word anonymous means that the correspondence would have had to come from an unknown source and not specifically from Mr. Paden.
And I will point out that if you want fair news and reporting the week that it happens, read The Landmark. If you want the same news one week later, read The Citizen the following week.

Or if it’s the following week and you missed it, stop in and see us at The Landmark and we can get you the back issue.



Shopper editor has trouble

with First Amendment

(Posted 10-18-02)

by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

Sometimes the wannabe elitists just can’t help themselves.

I watched this week as a petty, cliché-ridden editor attempted to justify his ineptness.

After running stories a week late, running letters to the editor a week after they ran in The Landmark, and continually harping on the same subject week after week the blame game was on. However, the blame and responsibility was not pointed inward, but toward those who read and wish to participate.

After such tired clichés as “I’ve been in this business long enough and I’ve been around the block a few times,” this local editor once again attempted to lecture and blame his readers who would like a forum to get their voices heard.

The response from the propaganda machine editor, “those tactics don’t fly in this publication.”

And why would they?


Faced with the pressure of another year where circulation numbers are due out this month and with likely bad news around the corner for his shopper, desperation seems to have set in.

Citing ‘policies,’ we all learned that the editor who had a “Little space to fill” informed his dwindling readership that his ‘Opinion’ page was not an open forum.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that—if you want to tell people what to think you should try that. If you wish not give folks a variety of viewpoints to investigate and digest try that strategy. If you don’t want them to read a variety of opinions and facts and then allow them to decide for themselves, by all means, stifle their opinion.

That’s a poor decision and a pretty tough sell in the First Amendment business.
It’s also pretty difficult if you don’t understand the First Amendment.


I understand the liberal mindset well: Agree with me, you have an open forum. Disagree with my liberal friends and me, and you are slanderous, an attack dog, and a ‘mud ball’ thrower. Oh and by the way, you will not be presented a forum in my publication.

It’s a laughable strategy, and in 2002, it is a dying mindset. You can see it locally as The Landmark welcomes and encourages free speech on a daily basis.

The result of our strategy: our numbers are growing. You can see it nationally as the FOX News Network’s ‘We report you decide’ motto has overtaken the CNN mindset of ‘we will tell you what to think.'

The result is the same nationwide on the two cable television networks. The FOX News Channel continues to add viewers while CNN continues to lose them.


It’s very difficult to trust people when you are from the left. If allowed to express opinions, use their minds to digest facts and opinions from a variety of sources, they may actually disagree with you. That scares the type of person who would use an advertising shopper that disguises itself as a newspaper to tell its readership, ‘this is not an open forum.’

It also confuses those who wish to use their shopper to voice their narrow opinions.

Perhaps reverting to his earlier self-admitted emotional wreck status, the “Space to fill” writer suggested that if you wish to express an opinion that disagrees with the Platte County Citizen, take it to The Landmark, or post it on our interactive web site at

That’s a good idea, and whether you agree or disagree with us or what we have written, inform us. If you agree or disagree with any local, state or national public figure let us know. Over here, we still understand the First Amendment and believe in it. And we practice it every day.

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at


Glick's letters

put herself

under more scrutiny


by CK Rairden
Landmark columnist

(Posted 8-30-02)

I am woman, hear my accusations.

Interim prosecutor Tammy Glick, in the heat of a campaign for elected prosecutor of Platte County, dropped this inflammatory rhetoric in a fundraising solicitation this week:

“Like all extreme conservatives, he believes women to be inferior. Therefore I am not qualified to serve because I am a woman.”

Not a wise decision.


This campaign solicitation was never meant for public consumption. The Glick campaign sent this to a targeted group hoping for campaign donations.

It was obtained by The Landmark and reported on in a page one story available at

Once the interim prosecutor was questioned by The Landmark, the Glick campaign amplified its initial mistake by rushing a poorly worded ‘letter to the editor’ to press outlets across northwest Missouri, including our newspaper that broke the story:

It’s almost as full panic mode set in. Glick’s letter increased her previous rhetoric and multiplied her mistakes by expanding on the accusations in the solicitation letter.

The wandering essay mentioned attacks on her children‘s clothing, her weight and the now obligatory “Would this have even been an issue if I were a man?”

None were backed with a documented incident.

The piece then went way below the board as the prosecutor attempted to gain sympathy by using her children and a ‘child’s illness’ to show her toughness.

It was embarrassing.


But all of this is only politics, and once Glick went for negativity and sympathy, the interim prosecutor then wanted to change the direction of the campaign to ‘the ability to perform the duties of prosecutor.’

Unfortunately for Glick the issue that now must be addressed is how Glick’s interpretation of ‘extreme conservatives’ will play out on when dispatching those ‘duties.’

It begs some serious questions on her ability to be fair with her bias now glaring and public:

Will the prosecutor’s office under Glick treat anyone deemed an ‘extreme conservative’ differently?

Will the prosecutor’s office under Glick treat anyone deemed an ‘extreme liberal’ with sympathy?

Will the prosecutor’s office treat men and women differently?

These questions will only get louder with each Rachelle Hernandez type case that bypasses trial and is pleaded out between now and November.


The ‘Glick for Prosecutor’ campaign has now unwittingly put ‘Glick the Interim Prosecutor’ under an intense microscope. Each case can now be looked at more closely to examine the motives of any prosecutions.

While the solicitation letter and the ‘letter to the editor’ both point the finger of blame elsewhere, Tammy Glick has no one but herself to blame for this scrutiny.

(CK Rairden can be reached via email at









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